10 Best Unity Books for Learning Game Development

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10 Best Unity Books for Learning Game Development

Akhil Bhadwal
Last updated on June 25, 2022

    Through this post, you will get introduced to Unity, which is among the leading game engines for developing commercial and indie 2D and 3D video games. In addition, we have curated a list of the top 10 Unity books that can help you learn how to develop games using the Unity engine.

    Video games have paved their way in the entertainment industry since their inception. Physicist William Higinbotham developed the world’s first video game in 1958. Moreover, the first video game console, Magnavox Odyssey, came in the early 1970s, and it was a home consumer-ready video game hardware.

    With the advancement of technology, powerful game development platforms came into being that allows the creation of new generation games. Today, the gaming industry has flourished to become one of the most successful and valuable industries across the globe. The ever-evolving gaming industry offers a broad spectrum of career opportunities.

    Apart from the role of a game developer, the video gaming domain offers various job roles, such as game designer, visual artist, audio engineer, game programmer, game tester, and so on. Unity is one of the best gaming engines to use.

    Here, we will discuss our pick of the 10 best books to learn and advance with the Unity game engine.

    So, without further ado, let’s get started!

    Unity Game Engine: A Brief Introduction

    Unity Technologies developed the Unity game engine in 2005. It is a cross-platform game engine for mobile, console, desktop, and virtual reality environments. Unity is one of the most robust and cutting-edge gaming engines that has been used to develop several popular games, such as Pillars of Eternity, Firewatch, Temple Run, Wasteland 2, and Alto’s Adventure .

    Additionally, Unity is just not a development platform. Instead, it offers various tools and plugins that allow game applications to run smoothly on different platforms and environments. Some popular and widely played Android and iOS games developed in Unity are Call of Duty: Mobile, Monument Valley, and Pokémon Go.

    Game developers use the Unity engine to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional video games. Along with the gaming industry, Unity is also adopted by several other industries as well, such as engineering, architecture, film, construction, and so forth. The United States Armed Forces also leverage the popular game development engine.

    With the increasing demand for game developers, it is essential to possess relevant game development skills to shape a career in the gaming industry.

    In the next section, you will get to know the top 10 cherry-picked Unity books that can help you enhance your game development expertise with the Unity engine.

    10 Best Unity Books for Learning Game Development

    The Unity books listed below are ideal for beginners as well as professional video game developers. Also, even if you possess some knowledge of Unity, the below books will definitely help you boost your understanding of this robust game engine.

    1. Unity in Action: Multiplatform Game Development in C# with Unity 5

    Author: Joe Hocking

    Unity in Action: Multiplatform game development in C#

    Unity in Action is one of the top-selling Unity game development books. It contains a variety of information to help you develop game code and deploy games in Unity. In addition, if you wish to switch from mobile development to video game development, Unity in Action is one of the best books to choose from.

    This book will enlighten you from scratch about Unity’s entire toolset. Even if you are completely new to game development, Unity in Action will help you to learn from the ground up. The principal objective of this Unity book is to teach people how to develop interactive games with the Unity game engine.

    Unity in Action categorizes the entire topic into three segments: First Steps, Getting Comfortable, and Strong Finish.

    Major Topics that Unity In Action Covers:

    • Fundamentals of the Unity game engine.
    • Developing code architectures to manage a game’s state.
    • Deploying games to different platforms, like web and mobile.
    • Working with graphics.
    • GUI development.
    • Using the internet to connect to games and download live data.
    • Unity’s 2D features.

    When you buy the Unity in Action book, you get a free ebook in three formats: Kindle, PDF, and ePub.

    About the Author

    Joe Hocking is a software engineer who specializes in interactive media development. Currently, he works at Qualcomm. He has also taught at the University of Illinois Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago.

    Publisher: Manning Publications
    Paperback Print Length: 400 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    2. Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development

    Author: Jeremy Gibson Bond

    Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development- From Concept to Playable Game with Unity and C#

    It is yet another best Unity book that teaches Unity game development comprehensively. It is the first book that combines all three basic game development principles: designing, prototyping, and development.

    This Unity book helps you boost your computer programming expertise. Also, it focuses on game design theory and sound rapid prototyping practices. Along with learning details about Unity, you will be able to understand and learn game development’s holistic approach.

    One of the key highlights of this book is that it offers in-depth details of eight distinct video game prototypes. In addition, its content is well-organized and ensures that you learn Unity and features of C# effectively.

    Major Topics that Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development Covers:

    • Programming expertise required for game development in Unity.
    • Fundamentals of Unity.
    • Working with the C# language.
    • Scrum and Agile methodologies.
    • Game design theory.
    • Rapid prototyping practices.
    • Enhancing the game design using rapid iteration.
    • Creating new and unique game designs.
    • Code debugging and playtesting.

    This book is available in Paperback and Kindle formats.

    About the Author

    Jeremy Gibson Bond is an outstanding professor and game designer with more than a decade of experience tutoring game designing. Additionally, he holds experience in developing games in Unity. He teaches computer game design to students from the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

    Publisher: Addison-Wesley
    Paperback Print Length: 944 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    3. Unity 5.x Cookbook

    Author: Chico Queiroz and Matt Smith

    Unity 5.x Cookbook

    Unity 5.x Cookbook is yet another fantastic book that teaches you to develop games using the Unity game engine. If you wish to know more about readily available solutions for various game features, Unity scripting, and multimedia functionalities, Unity 5.x Cookbook is the go-to book.

    This Unity book offers detailed solutions to all run-of-the-mill problems that you may encounter while developing a game. Interestingly, the book is suitable for everyone, from beginners to experienced video game developers who are eager to learn Unity.

    Major Topics that Unity 5.x Cookbook Covers:

    • Game design.
    • Unity fundamentals.
    • Programming in C#.
    • Unity game scripting.
    • Game development flaws and their solutions.

    Unity 5.x Shaders and Effects Cookbook is available in Kindle and Paperback formats.

    About the Author

    Matt Smith is an ardent game developer and computing academic from Ireland. He has taught at Winchester University and London's Middlesex University.

    Chico Queiroz is a digital media designer. He graduated in Communication and Advertisement. Also, he holds a master's degree in Digital Game Design from the University for the Creative Arts, UK.

    Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited
    Paperback Print Length: 570 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    4. Unity Game Development Cookbook: Essentials for Every Game

    Author: Jonathan Manning, Tim Nugent, and Paris Buttfield-Addison Unity Game Development Cookboo

    Unity Game Development Cookbook: Essentials for Every Game is undoubtedly one of the best books on Unity. It discusses details of 2D and 3D game development in Unity. Initially, this book discusses fundamental topics of Unity game development, and later, it discusses more complex concepts.

    The authors have explained game development concepts in an easily digestible manner in this book. This book consists of two segments:

    • Part 1 of the book provides exhaustive information about the Unity game engine. Moreover, it involves short and crisp exercises to help you apply the concepts of the Unity game engine.
    • Part 2 includes solutions or guides to fixing various gameplay complexities and problems.

    This Unity book follows a unique and straightforward approach to teaching the use of the Unity game engine for developing games. The primary idea is to examine a particular situation, highlight issues, and then find out the best possible solution.

    In addition, individuals with zilch or intermediate-level experience of Unity can trust this book to enhance their knowledge.

    Major Topics that Unity Game Development Cookbook Covers:

    • Fundamentals of Unity.
    • Unity game engine.
    • Game design.
    • Unity functionalities.
    • Gameplay issues and solutions.

    You can get this book in Kindle and Paperback formats.

    About the Author

    Dr. Paris Buttfield-Addison is the co-founder of a game development studio, Secret Lab. Formerly, he worked as a software engineer and product manager for Meebo. Also, he holds a Ph.D. in computing.

    John Manning possesses experience in value-based pricing. He gained this experience in technology and many other business verticals.

    Tim Nugent is a mobile app developer, game developer, and author.

    Publisher: Shroff/O'Reilly
    Paperback Print Length: 408 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    5. Unity UI Cookbook

    Author: Francesco Sapio

    Unity UI Cookbook

    Unity UI Cookbook is yet another detailed book to learn Unity game development skills. One of the highlights of this book is that it incorporates more than 60 readily available solutions for fixing issues occurring in UI designs of complex video games.

    This book is a perfect solution for individuals wishing to create interactive UIs for video games. If you are a mid-level or an expert developer, the readily available instructions in this book on Unity will assist you in developing responsive and creative UIs using C# scripts.

    Major Topics that Unity UI Cookbook Covers:

    • Animating UI elements.
    • Designing and implementing 3D user interfaces.
    • Implementing different health bars and counters.
    • Managing runtime customizations.

    But one thing to remember about this Unity book is that it does not discuss the fundamentals of Unity. Thus, you need to opt for other Unity books that detail the basics of C# programming and Unity. This book is available in Kindle and Paperback formats.

    About the Author

    Francesco Sapio holds a computer science and control engineering degree from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. He is a Unity 3D expert, game designer, and experienced user of many graphics programs. For many years, he also worked as a dancer and actor.

    Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited
    Paperback Print Length: 284 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    6. Unity Game Development in 24 Hours

    Author: Mike Geig

    Unity 2018 Game Development In 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself| Third Edition| By Pearson

    Unity Game Development in 24 hours helps you to master the Unity 4 game engine in just 24 lessons. It primarily focuses on teaching the Unity 4 game engine to develop mind-blowing games, like Temple Run .

    Initially, you will get to learn about the fundamentals of video game creation in this book. Later, it involves details about more sophisticated topics, like animation, game physics, and mobile device deployment methods.

    This excellent Unity book aims to help you learn about developing video games in the Unity 4 environment. This book involves step-by-step instructions, enabling you to go through each topic thoroughly. At the end of each session, you can find exciting quizzes and exercises.

    Major Topics that Unity Game Development in 24 Hours Covers:

    • Unity graphical asset pipeline.
    • Game deployment.
    • Unity Mecanim animation system.
    • Scripting video game tasks.
    • Unity GameObjects.
    • Unity graphics asset pipeline.
    • Game user interfaces.

    It is available in Kindle and Paperback formats.

    About the Author

    Mike is a seasoned teacher at Cleveland Institute of Art and Stark State College. He is an indie game developer, author, and university tutor. Also, he is the head of evangelism content at Unity Technologies.

    Publisher: Pearson Education
    Paperback Print Length: 464 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    7. Unity 5.x Shaders and Effects Cookbook

    Author: Kenneth Lammers and Alan Zucconi

    Unity 5.x Shaders and Effects Cookbook

    We know that Unity is an impressive and grand platform used for developing award-winning video games. It consists of various shades. One of the most common shades in Unity is Shaders and Effects, i.e., graphics. Therefore, Unity 5.x Shaders and Effects Cookbook is among the best Unity books to learn Unity’s Shaders and Effects.

    If you desire to become proficient in shader programming, you need to go through this Unity book. It consists of various practical and illustrative examples. In addition, you will get to discover and learn post-processing effects in video games.

    Major Topics that Unity 5.x Shaders and Effects Cookbook Covers:

    • Unity 3D.
    • Shader programming.
    • Game script designing.
    • Physically-based rendering.
    • Underlying mathematics.

    Unity 5.x Shaders and Effects Cookbook is available in Paperback and Kindle formats.

    About the Author

    Alan Zucconi is an inspirational speaker and professional developer. Moreover, he is recognized as one of the Develop's "30 under 30."

    Kenneth Lammers is a seasoned video game developer. He has over 15 years of experience in the gaming industry. Also, he has been working as a character artist, programmer, technical artist, and technical art director.

    Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited
    Paperback Print Length: 240 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    8. Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 5.x

    Author: Greg Lukosek

    Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 5.x -: Develop your first interactive 2D platformer game by learning the fundamentals of C#

    This book helps readers develop interactive 2D platformer games by understanding and learning the basics of C# . In addition, readers can learn object-oriented programming principles. The author offers a step-by-step guide for readers to learn C# scripting for developing GameObjects. This book on Unity concentrates more on practical learning.

    Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 5.x allows you to learn essential game development skills, such as object-oriented programming, scripting in the C# language, and handling GameObjects. Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 5.x is the best book for newcomers in video game development.

    Major Topics that Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 5.x Covers:

    • Fundamental concepts of C# programming and Unity game development.
    • Unity GameObjects.
    • Object-oriented programming standards.
    • Game publishing.

    You can get this book in Paperback and Kindle formats.

    About the Author

    Greg is a self-instructed programmer and has decades of experience in the game development domain. Moreover, he holds experience teaching individuals everything about game development using realistic scenarios.

    Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited
    Paperback Print Length: 230 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    9. Developing 2D Games with Unity

    Author: Jared Halpern

    Developing 2D Games with Unity: Independent Game Programming with C#

    Unity is the most favorable platform for developing 2D games. Popular 2D games developed using the Unity game engine include Night In The Woods (NITW) and Reform’s Adventure. Developing 2D Games with Unity is a book that guides you about everything that you need to create stunning 2D games. This makes it one of the best Unity books to learn 2D Unity game development.

    It is a Unity book that is beneficial for both beginners and professionals. However, it does not involve complex and advanced coding expressions and explanations. This book categorizes all the topics into eight different parts.

    Topics that Developing 2D Games with Unity Covers:

    1. Gaming Past and Present - This part provides information about the video gaming industry's history and throws light on the current advancements.
    2. Introduction to Unity - In this section, you will get aware of the fundamentals of the Unity platform and many other significant concepts involved in developing 2D video games.
    3. Foundations - This part discusses the basics of video game development.
    4. World Building - This section takes you through the art of developing video game worlds.
    5. Building Out the Gameplay - This section talks about video gameplay designs.
    6. Beyond the Basics - After learning the fundamentals of video game development, you can move towards intermediate- and professional-level topics in video game development.
    7. Polish, Polish, Polish - This section helps you reinforce your knowledge by practicing.
    8. Where to Go Next - It tells you about how to enhance and improve your current video game development skills.

    Developing 2D Games with Unity is available in Kindle and Paperback formats.

    About the Author

    Jared Halpern is a software developer. He has been working for 12 years in different technologies. Moreover, he has developed a myriad of apps for iPhone, including photography, GIF, video, eCommerce, games, and augmented reality applications.

    Publisher: Apress
    Paperback Print Length: 410 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    10. Unity from Zero to Proficiency (Foundations)

    Author: Patrick Felicia

    Unity from Zero to Proficiency (Intermediate): A step-by-step guide to coding your first FPS in C# with Unity. [Third Edition]: 3

    As its name suggests, Unity from Zero to Proficiency (Foundations) is an ideal book for beginners. This book talks about the basics as well as advanced concepts of game development with Unity. Each lesson in the book is linked to the previous one. Therefore, it follows a progressive approach to teaching.

    This Unity book teaches readers about Unity game development through six chapters. Also, each chapter details different features of the Unity game engine.

    Major Topics that Unity from Zero to Proficiency (Foundations) Covers:

    • Developing real-time 2D and 3D games.
    • Basics of the Unity interface.
    • Working with Unity’s core functionalities.
    • Outlining 2D and 3D games.
    • Development of 2D game platforms without scripting.
    • Video game development.

    You can get this book in Kindle and Paperback styles.

    About the Author

    Patrick Felicia is a lecturer and researcher at Waterford Institute of Technology. There, he teaches game development and programming to undergraduate students. Moreover, he is the conference director of the Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning and Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) .

    Publisher: Independently published
    Paperback Print Length: 524 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    Conclusion

    Developing a video game requires a developer to create everything from scratch, such as characters, layout, style, story, and so forth. Therefore, one can evolve many other skills, like designing various game assets, selecting or producing different sound effects, presenting a game story, etc.

    Unity is one of the state-of-the-art game engines. Many game developers leverage it to build exciting 3D and 2D video games. The game engine allows us to develop video games and tests the same to ensure that they run without any issues.

    The above-listed Unity books are the best ones to learn to develop games with the Unity engine. However, apart from reading books, you should also opt for online courses and/or tutorials to strengthen your knowledge of video game development. Today, several online platforms offer online courses to help you master the art of developing video games.

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